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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Workforce Central Career Centers

When I was in my early twenties (a long time ago) and I lost my job, I walked into the nearest unemployment office and filed a claim. I could also get some leads on potential jobs from the folks who worked there or I could strike out on my own to find a job. Every two weeks I brought back proof to the unemployment office that I was actively seeking employement in order to receive my check. Things have changed! First, the unemployment office is now called a Career Center. Second, while you can still walk into a Career Center to file a claim the government strongly encourages the newly unemployed to file a claim by phone.
File by phone
Call the TeleClaim Center at 1-877-626-6800 if you are calling from the following area codes: 351, 413, 508, 774, and 978.
Call the TeleClaim Center at 617-626-6800 if you are calling from any other area code.

Career Centers now focus mainly on connecting employers with job seekers. Before we list the resources available at a Career Center it's important to know where the Career Centers are located and the cities and towns that are serviced by the individual centers. The Office of Labor has a directory of the Career Centers closest to you with an overview of services, hours and contact information. I have taken a tour of the Worcester Career Center and I'm hoping that there is uniformity throughout the state. In any event, the only requirement for those wishing to use the resources at a Career Center is attendance at a one hour orientation. They have tried to make this as painless as possible by scheduling two orientations each day Monday through Thursday. Once you have completed the orientation here are some of the services and resources available:

  • Use of their computers for two hours each day.
  • A weekly job list of vacancies and salaries.
  • In-house use of a software database called EmployOn which promises to be the largest jobs database in the industry.
  • One on one job matching with a Career Center staff person.
  • The possibility of a $5000 training grant (must meet eligibility requirements).
  • These are some of the free workshops:
    -Resume writing taught by certified resume writers.
    -An introduction to the personal computer.
    -Interviewing techniques.
    -Job searching on the Internet.
    -Myers Briggs testing of personality type.
    -Mock interviews.
    -CORI issues and job searching.
    -Networking how to.

Fee based service:
For a $40 fee there are self-paced and computer based software training services that require 16-24 hours to complete: Outlook 2000; Word 2000; Access; Power Point 2000; and Excel 2000.

1 comment:

Barbara Friedman, Consulting Librarian said...

Just wanted to add a few comments to Mary's, which might be helpful as you assist people out of a job. Mary praised the Worcester Center, and I can say that the Leominster and Gardner Career Centers are also wonderful. Four years ago when I found myself unemployed, I used the resources at both centers.

I suggest starting people at this URL.
I'm sure your help in getting people comfortable using the sites will be most appreciated.

Also, as a reference librarian you will be able to provide some factual and emotional support. Similarly, the Career Centers not only provide the factual information that people need when they are suddenly unemployed but they also provide support groups and the moral support needed to keep on the job search path. Reassure people that it is worth the visit.

Thanks for mentioning this Mary. It is such an important resource, especially at this time of year.

CMRLS Regional Reference Center, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Sq, Worcester MA 01608